Materials do not make up much in the cost of a cue. You’d be hard pressed to spend more than a couple of hundred bucks in a cue unless you use a lot of 24 karat gold. Time and attention to detail are the most expensive commodities in a cue. For example, a dowel for premium shaft wood blanks cost about $10. At that rate Tony can spend a hundred years and a zillion dollars to find 2 kick ass shafts.
Another good example, a stainless joint cost about $5. But, it might take 3 or 4 hours to make it a sleeved stainless joint. Exotic wood, like pink ivory, Snakewood, etc., is so expensive that it is not hard to spend $500, for a piece and find the yield so minimal after you cut around the cracks.
So, the cost of materials is a matter of perspective. Inevitably, the lesser the quality of materials, the more your precious time will be spent in vain. Tony says, “To me it makes perfect sense to buy the highest quality materials, no matter the expense, to save the time you’d waste fooling around with garbage.”